by Kevin “Coach” Collins
Yosemite National Park has installed the largest solar energy system in the whole United States National Park System. The system will provide 672 kilowatts, which is 12 percent of the park’s yearly electric power requirements. The system installed by Suntek (doesn’t that name make you just want to hug a tree?) consists of 2,800 solar panels “tastefully” integrated into the existing architecture of Yosmite’s administrative and maintenance compound.
A 500 kilowatt solar canopy covers the parking lot. A 100 kW rooftop section serves as a collection system on top of the warehouse, and an additional 72 kWs wrap the building’s outer walls.
Before you jump up and shout “Holy renewable energy!” consider the dark side of this “money and energy saving green policy.”
New Meaning to the Term “Lifetime Guarantee”
The system cost $4.5 million, and over the next five years the park will receive $700,000 in energy rebates to offset the cost of installation. This means the total price will be a mere $3.8 million.
Believe it or not, this is the good news.
Here’s the part we’re not supposed to focus on: The Obama administration paid for this project with $4.4 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also called the stimulus act.
Its yearly savings will be $50,000. Relying on poor education provided by government schools, the “Park News” press release ignores the fact that at that rate, it will take until 2088 to break — even in the unlikely event that the original equipment lasts that long.
This harvesting of green energy is a fraud.
The admitted useful lifespan of solar panels is 40 years, when it is properly maintained. Allowing that federal civil servants will properly maintain these panels, this means an additional expense of approximately $9 million more tax dollars to replace them over the next 75 years.
This balloons the total cost of the project to at least $12.8 million, making the year’s $50,000 savings laughable.
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This article originally appeared on CoachIsRight.com and is reprinted with permission.
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